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The thymus gland (known as throat sweetbread) and the pancreas (stomach sweetbread), especially of the calf and lamb (although beef sweetbreads are sometimes eaten), are considered delicacies and are rich in mineral elements and vitamins. The pancreas is generally preferred to the thymus. Sweetbreads are highly perishable and, immediately after removal from refrigeration, should be soaked and parboiled, then creamed, curried, braised, or otherwise prepared for serving.
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The Ma-Po Pork Sweetbreads (page 61) were inspired by a classic Chinese tofu and pork recipe so I wanted to embrace the soft texture and richness of the sweetbreads and have them take the place of tofu in the dish.
The longer menu, with entrees averaging $19, includes lovely presentations of cassoulet, sauteed sweetbreads, grouper or frog legs Provencale, bouillabaisse and filet mignon with a Bordelaise sauce served on the side.
A lot of people weren't keen on sweetbreads but they found the lamb itself fantastic."
It wasn't until later that evening that Mike confessed it wasn't actually chicken it was sweetbreads (sheep's testicles)!
Prices are reasonable considering the chefs pedigree - starters go from pounds 5 for chickpea soup with autumn veg to pounds 8 for the aforementioned sweetbreads, while mains range encompass steak and kidney pudding at pounds 13 and grilled seabass in mussel and parsley broth topping the scale at pounds 19.
Arrange the cutlets, kidneys, burgers, sweetbreads, mushrooms, potatoes and tomatoes on a plate.
You then need to remove the membrane on the outside of the sweetbread. To do this, cover the sweetbreads with water and a touch of milk (the milk will help draw out blood if any is left and help stop discolouration of the sweetbread).
It's very rare a table of two will order two liver or sweetbreads.
On recent visits to Asda, Tesco and Morrisons I sought in vain for the following traditional foods - brawn, chitterlings (pressed or roped), sweetbreads, tripe, veal, rabbit, pig's trotters, beef or marrow bones for soup or a pig's head to make my own brawn.
Silky pasta contained shreds of infant moo-moo and - unheralded on the menu - alongside sat two melting, succulent veal sweetbreads.
The lunch and dinner menus offer a range of modern European dishes, with starters including scallops, skate and foie gras, and mains including lamb rump and sweetbreads and Dublin Bay prawns with slow cooked pork belly, ears and trotters.
Sweetbreads, tongue and kidneys gave turns of flavour all from the same beast, this time the richness of fresh ceps bringing it all together under the thinnest, crisp potato galette called Maxims.